Our Land

High Borrowdale is situated in a locality described by Wainwright as “the most beautiful valley outside the Lake District”, however the valley is now part of the Lake District thanks to the national park extension in 2016. Through the extensive work of our volunteers this land has been transformed into a stunning landscape haven for wildlife and people. We have re-created two upland hay meadows, restored two barns, stabilised a derelict farm house, re-built 5km of dry stone wall and planted 10,000 native trees - ash, oak, rowan, holly, hawthorn, alder and willow - to enhance the habitats and landscape and help stabilise erosion.

Both meadows are proving to be successful; with Natural England suggesting the oldest one is now of SSSI restored quality. The upland hay meadows will greatly increase biodiversity in the area, and support some of our rarest plant species.  Our researchers have recorded the history of people in this landscape back to the 1100s, and we survey the ecology of this land every five years. This land has been dedicated as open access land so everyone can enjoy it in perpetuity.

Reasons to visit: 

  • Visit our two stunning hay meadows (end of June, early July) 
  • Seek out peace and tranquillity, with the only sound being the tumbling Borrow Beck, birds and sometimes sheep
  • Visit the old farmhouse and wonder how life there used to be
  • Link a walk to High Borrowdale with a circular walk of the surrounding tops of Whinash and Whinfell

Virtual Tour

Pay a virtual visit to High Borrowdale with an aerial 360 degree panorama which you can move around the property. Deep dive into key elements, such as the buildings, or hay meadow. Find out about what we have done, view time-lapse footage and watch our Vodcasts – small video clips of us talking about what we have done, the volunteers on why they volunteer, the importance of key features, etc.


High Borrowdale is situated 8.5 miles north of Kendal. The best way to access it is from the A6, south of Shap.

You can park at the layby at Hucks Brow (GR552038). What Three Words: spring.converter.soups

Walk up hill from the layby and, on the bend, you'll see a bridleway on the left. Follow this track for about a mile. It will drop downhill and then follow the course of the river. You reach High Borrowdale after you have crossed the bridge. 

Access by public transport is very limited. Open access at all times.

Property Leaflet

The story of High Borrowdale - (pdf)

This property  benefits from a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, funded by the ‘European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development’ which enables us to do habitat and landscape enhancement.